Cheers and fears among locals
Mixed reaction to Trump’s election
Depending on who you are, the astonishing vicÂtory of Donald Trump last week was either wonderÂful or a disaster for the country.
Karl Zahn, who hosts a radio talk show and has owned a local excavation business for decades, is among the former.
As co-chairman of Trump’s Milford camÂpaign, Zahn said he has gotten to know the man enough to realize that people’s fears that his presidency will lead to autocratic rule are "ridicÂulous."
Some of the things the president-elect has said should be "taken with a huge grain of salt, Zahn said.
He said meeting Trump’s family showed him a differÂent side of the candidate – a side that is gracious and compassionate.
Zahn also believes Trump will follow through on his promises.
"I do believe he will tighten up the border and build a wall" on the MexiÂcan border, Zahn said, because the country can’t afford to take care of all of the illegal immigrants who are coming in.
But he will also treat people with compassion, Zahn said.
And the fact that he is considering U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who disÂavowed Trump during the campaign, for a posiÂtion in his administration shows he will have an even-handed approach to government, Zahn said.
"I urge everyone to quell their fears," said Zahn, who said he beÂlieves Trump is a true patriot who ran for presiÂdent because he wants to save the country from inÂept leaders.
"I think people will see a much different side of him," Zahn said.
But James Squires, a former state senator and Hollis town moderator, said he’s afraid.
Acknowledging that the election "pointed to deep divisions" in the counÂtry and that he and other Trump opponents should "put aside the moaning and do our best to come together as a country," Squires said he has major concerns about Trump’s ability to lead.
Diplomatic relations are vital as nuclear weapons proliferate, he said, and Trump is not temperamentally suitÂed to the "slow, tedious work" of international diplomacy, which he said is essential if we are to avoid destroying one another.
"I am not even sure Donald Trump underÂstands basic geograÂphy," he said.
And how can a diÂvided nation be healed, he said, by a man who "downplays women and immigrants and says Muslims have a bad reÂligion?"
The idea of an impenÂetrable wall across the southern border is foolÂish, he said.
But "accidentally or shrewdly," Trump tapped into "the disconÂtent of people who have not seen their incomes rise and who are unhapÂpy over the huge shift in the way people are able to accumulate wealth – all legitimate feelings," Squires said.
To blame those who are dependent on governÂment for their survival "makes a mockery of the idea that this is a ChrisÂtian nation," the retired physician said. "As huÂman beings, we ought to look out for one another."
If taxes are cut the way Trump says they will be, Squires said, "The burÂden will fall on the lowest of the low, and that is very wrong."
Squires, who once ran against former U.S. Sen. Gordon Humphrey for the Republican nominaÂtion for governor, said he deplores the tone of the 2016 campaign and its "debasement of decent conversation" into perÂsonal attacks.
Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or email@example.com.